This week’s Geek-Squared offers more lows than highs. Featured items include: Misogyny strikes twice, Game of Thrones apologize for prop gaff, and last but not least, a legal fight erupts over the Oatmeal. Yup. Just another freaky week in the world of geek.
1. Misogynists Shoot Themselves in the Foot over a Kickstarter Studying — Misogny in Videogames
Seriously… this would sound like a bad web series plot if it weren’t true and didn’t involve some rather disturbing threats. Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist/popular culture blogger/vlogger has found herself at the center of a major geek-troversy. Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter project sought funding for a video series examining tropes of women in video-games. A firestorm of hatred and, unsurprisingly, misogynist comments have plagued the project this week. The vitriol and outright violent hatred seen in the comments is shocking and sad, as despite commenters’ argument that there is no misogyny, their comments clearly demonstrate exactly the opposite — the video-game world (or at least the ‘community’ of video-game players) seems to be rife with misogyny. (To see some of the comments, CLICK HERE)
Now, this is not to say that all male video-gamers are misogynists, as I don’t believe that for a second. Most of the male gamers I know are lovely guys who ‘get’ what Sarkeesian was wanting to explore — and as further testament to their nature, every last one of them has managed to find themselves an intelligent, lovely and fun-loving gamer/geek girl partner/wife — something the misogynists in the video-game crowd will be hard-pressed to do. And let’s face it, they are probably quite happy living in their parents’ basement, letting Mommy coddle them, rather than trying to fix their personality flaws and seek out a REAL relationship.
I am pleased to report however, that despite death threats and threats to her personal safety, as well as a range of potentially libelous statements directed at her, Sarkeesian’s kickstarter, which originally only hoped to raise $6k, has now raised over $158k, in retaliation for the hateful comments.
2. Mysogyny Strikes (Part 2)
Seemingly set a world away from the flaming vitriol and hatred related to Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter project, this week saw Aisha Tyler fight back against misogynistic comments fired at her over her role as the Ubisoft press conference spokesperson at E3 2012. As soon as Tyler hit the stage, the Twitter-verse flared with derogatory comments about her presence, motivation and even her legitimacy as a gamer.
Apparently, in the misogynistic minds of some gamers, you can’t be pretty and like video games. Um…seriously? Get a clue!
Not one to take things lying down, Tyler fought back via an open letter on her Facebook page, while Ubisoft also released a statement supporting their decision to use Tyler as their spokesperson.
3. Breakfast Fights Back — The Oatmeal Faces Legal Action
The Oatmeal artist Matthew Inman has had a somewhat long-standing spat with ‘FunnyJunk’ over their use of his comic illustrations, which he maintains is copyright infringement. Fed up with the way things had been going, Inman reacted on both his blog and The Oatmeal site, resulting in ‘FunnyJunk’ initiating legal action. ‘FunnyJunk’ is claiming that Inman’s responses are libelous and they are demanding $20,000.
Inman fought back once again, with his sense of humor Intact — sadly, the same can not be said for ‘FunnyJunk’. He has said he will give up $20,000, just not to ‘FunnyJunk’ . Instead he created a crowdsourcing campaign entitled “Operation Bear-Love Good. Cancer Bad”. Thanks to the quick-fire spread of information in the Internet and the fact that the legal spat was well known amongst fans and readers of The Oatmeal, the campaign raised the hoped for $20,000 in just over an hour. Within 24 hours Inman had raised over $118,000.
No word yet on whether the potential lawsuit has been retracted, as the lawyer representing ‘FunnyJunk’ has received so many hateful responses he has removed his contact information from his website. All I can say is, good luck removing your digital footprint — the Internet has more information about you than can be found on your webpage, Mr. Carreon!
Silly boy — didn’t anyone ever tell you not to play with food?
4. Game of Thrones Apologizes for Decapitating… George W. Bush
After misogynistic threats and lawsuits, let’s end with something a bit goofy. Game of Thrones producers apologized publicly this week for any offense that may have been caused due to the apparent decapitation of George W. Bush. Apparently, one of the prop heads used in a scene depicting decapitated heads on pikes was of former president Bush.
In a joint statement, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said:
“We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush….We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”
And that was the week in geek!